Here we go again. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), whose extremist ties and past attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor have stamped him as a leading anti-Latino lawmaker, is adding to his anti-immigrant legacy by couching his opposition to the DREAM Act with fear-mongering about immigrants and crime and falsehoods about the DREAM Act.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Jeff Sessions is blowing the dog whistle of demagoguery to rally opposition to the DREAM Act. He and his staff are trying to paint young immigrant kids – who grew up in America, did everything asked of them, and want the chance to go to college or serve in the military – as criminals and a drain on society. This is factually inaccurate and morally reprehensible. This type of attack didn’t work for Sharron Angle in Nevada in 2010 and it won’t work for the Republican Party in 2012 or long-term.”
The controversy comes after his office circulated a white paper that is currently reverberating throughout the conservative echo chamber, in which Sessions mixes anti-immigrant fear-mongering (see: “criminal aliens”) with factually inaccurate assertions about the legislation and its implications.
Session’s spokesman Stephen Miller told Fox News:
“The scope of this proposal is enormous, extending amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants including a number who have committed serious crimes, incentivizing further illegality.”
In truth, the DREAM Act is a narrowly-tailored and traditionally bipartisan piece of legislation that ensures that only those with strong moral character qualify. As such, it would strengthen the military, bolster future economic competitiveness, and offer American taxpayers a return on their investment in hard-working immigrant kids who want to give back to the nation they love and call home.
There is a wide gulf between extremists like Sessions and sensible Americans who recognize the importance of DREAM. In fact, 70% of the American people support the DREAM Act.